JEFFERSON – With many laps and a lot of family success at Jefferson Speedway, expectations were that Jacob Nottestad would be good in his TUNDRA Super Late Model Series debut Saturday night. However, no one knew just how good he would be.
Nottestad slipped to the lead past early-race leader John Beale on lap 18 of the Transport Services LLC 75 and cruised to victory utilizing the car he races as a weekly Late Model at Jefferson Speedway. It’s been nearly four years since a driver won in his first TUNDRA start, last happening when Chris Wimmer was victorious in August of 2017 at State Park Speedway.
“It definitely couldn’t be a better start to the Super Late Model career,” Nottestad said. “I definitely didn’t expect to run this good. I knew we were going to be decent with our car. It just kept getting better and better and we ended up getting ‘er done.”
Starting from the outside of the third row, Nottestad held in through an early botched start and a caution. The top line had edged ahead coming to the line for lap one, allowing drivers who had been on the outside line to choose the inside for the restart. Beale selected the bottom with Ryan Farrell and Nottestad following down low.
On the restart Beale was able to get away from Brady Bill, bringing Farrell and Nottestad for the ride. Justin Mondeik and Mike Lichtfeld settled in behind. On lap seven, Nottestad worked his way past Farrell and set his sights on Beale, who had built a seven-car-length advantage.
As Nottestad slowly started to reel in Beale, the rest of the Top Five were scrambling for position. Farrell was left to try to hold off the charges of Mondeik, who was constant in his pursuit of the Third spot. By lap 25 Nottestad had caught Beale and began a three-lap attack resulting in him taking the lead.
“We caught him, then fell back a little bit and then finally just started getting better and better,” Nottestad said. “I was able to drive under him coming off two and set sail from there.”
Behind the lead duo the battle for Third was frantic. Mondeik made his move on lap 34 and got to the inside of Farrell with Casey Johnson in hot pursuit. The tight quarters racing resulted in a chain reaction Johnson spin out of turn two, bringing another yellow and restacking the field.
On the restart Nottestad was joined on the front row by Mondeik as Beale selected the inside lane. Nottestad was able to hold off Mondeik on that restart and another restart eight laps later when Brady Bill and Grant Thompson got together.
Nottestad and Mondeik made some contact racing for the lead, but both were able to escape – with Nottestad emerging at the front of the pack again. He left Mondeik to deal with Beale and Section 715 Throwing Co. Fast Qualifier Riley Stenjem. The four settled in until another caution fell with eight laps remaining.
As had been the case on the previous two restarts, Nottestad surged from the field on the inside line. Behind him the action heated up for Second, resulting in a tangle between Mondeik and Beale. The result would give Riley Stenjem a chance to restart in Second alongside Nottestad.
“I knew Stenjem was going to be quick so I was definitely going to get up on the wheel and keep the heat in the tires,” Nottestad commented “We were able to clear him off two and go from there.”
Through the final five laps Nottestad was able to maintain a comfortable advantage. Stenjem fell into the hands of Ryan Farrell and surrendered Second late in the race. Brock Heinrich – utilizing a different car due to an accident earlier in the week – was able to surge to Third, passing Stenjem late in the race.
The top four was followed to the line by Jordan DeVoy, who bounced back from some bad luck in the first half of 2021. Johnson was able to recover and finish sixth.
For Nottestad, it was another notch in the belt of his career as he starts to make his name known more throughout the racing community. He credits his team and his time behind the wheel at the tricky quarter-mile.
“A lot of guys come here and struggle. It’s really tough to figure out,” he said. “Having our rookie year almost five years ago now, I was able to learn a lot there and pick up the line watching guys like Casey Johnson and Dale Nottestad. That helped a ton. I was able to keep hitting my marks in one and two and just kept getting faster in three and four.”
The first of twin 25 lap Hobby Stock features ended with Johnson Creek’s Nick Bruley in victory lane. Starting on the pole, Bruley grabbed the top spot as the green flag waved. Jon Benninger slipped behind him in second as the leaders lined up single file. Shane Radtke drove up to the third position as the laps ticked away. Bruley remained strong on the point to see the checkers first and secure the win. Benninger was second followed by Radtke, Jim Tate Jr and Brandon Riedner.
Andy Raley jumped out to the early lead as the second 25 lapper got underway. Jessica Breunig drove up behind Raley into second on lap three. On lap ten, Breunig took to the high side of the leader, Raley. She drew even with Raley and slid into the lead alone on lap 12. Jim Tate Jr joined the battle at the front, getting around Raley on lap 14 and setting his sights on Breunig. On lap 15, Tate and Breunig made slight contact entering turn three and forcing Breunig to check up. This allowed Tate to motor into the lead and take off towards the checkers. Chris Flairty and Brandon Riedner waged a great battle for second throughout the remainder of the event. At the checkers, it was Tate for the win with Flairty getting second over Riedner. Shane Radtke was fourth with Scott Riedner rounding out the top five.
The Bandit division also competed in twin feature events. Carson Phillips of Edgerton claimed the first 20 lapper. Tyler White grabbed the early lead with Mason Wilcott in second. Wilcott moved past White to grab the lead on lap four. Ashlynn Jarlsberg got to second just before the first of two cautions waved on lap ten. Wilcott and Jarlsberg led the field back to green with Wilcott reclaiming the top spot on the restart. Meanwhile, Phillips was charging toward the front on the high side. Phillips powered into the lead on lap 13. Phillips survived one last caution in the closing laps to cross the stripe first for the win. Nick Newton was second followed by Tyler Deporter, White and Nick Schmidt.
Jon Petitt took the early lead in the second Bandit feature. On lap two, Brandon Johnson drove up alongside Petitt, drivin into the lead before the lap completed. Nick Schmidt drove into second on lap five. A caution lap eight slowed the pace, pitting Johnson and Tyler Deporter on the front row for the restart. Johnson moved back out front as the green waved again. Another yellow on lap 16 set up a four lap shootout to the finish. Johnson once again took control on the restart with Nick Newton now up to second to challenge. But Johnson held him at bay to see the checkers first and get the victory. Newton was second with Carson Phillips, Deporter and Schmidt rounding out the top five.
AJ Accardi claimed the win in the 12 lap Road Warrior feature event. Bill Reynolds took control of the top spot early in the race with Accardi quickly up to second. Accardi shadowed Reynolds for the entirety of the event with Reynolds managing to keep him behind. Reynolds led the way across the stripe to complete the event. Following post race inspection, Reynolds was forced to vacate his position, handing the win to Accardi. Matthew Thoma was second followed by Garrett Meister in third.
Next Saturday, July 24, is a full program of racing including the return of the Midwest Truck Series to Wisconsin’s Action Track. Time trials begin at 4pm with racing at 6pm. Jefferson Speedway is located halfway between Jefferson and Cambridge on Hwy 18. Please visit jeffersonspeedway.com for more information.